Roberto Carlos admits he is concerned about the ‘very complex’ football schedule and calls for a new calendar… while former Real Madrid team-mate Geremi insists congestion is hurting players’ careers
- World Cup winning Brazilian Roberto Carlos has called for a new competition calendar
- The former left-back called the current football schedule ‘very complex’
- His old Real Madrid team-mate Geremi agreed that congestion is harmful to players
Legendary former Brazilian star Roberto Carlos has called for a new competition calendar in football, saying the current schedule is “very complex” and causes performance to “fall off” after constant travel.
Experts, players and coaches have all complained in recent years about the congestion of the playground equipment – with Man City boss Pep Guardiola a vocal critic last season as the Covid-19 forced clubs to play a series of matches in a short period of time during the pandemic.
And Carlos – who won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil and is considered one of the greatest left-backs of all time – says he has struggled with the problem as a player and wants to see reforms to help players recover.
Roberto Carlos demands a reform of the football calendar, which he called ‘complex’
Speak with FIFA, the former Real Madrid defender said teams would see an improvement in the representation of their top stars if authorities can find a solution.
“I remember when I used to play, we played a game on Sunday, then we traveled that Sunday night, played again on Wednesday, came back on Friday and played on Saturday or Sunday,” he said.
“Players’ performance automatically starts to drop because you don’t have time to rest. As for the trip: for example I would leave Madrid and travel to Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires or Caracas in Venezuela and have no recovery time.
“This idea reduces the number of runs because you would do the qualifying runs in one month. So you would have time to train, play well, rest and get back to your club.
The Real Madrid legend said he suffered from fatigue during his playing career
“There are too many consecutive races and then you add up the travel and the fatigue and it is very complex. I think football will improve a lot once this problem is solved.”
Former Chelsea and Newcastle midfielder Geremi agreed with Carlos and wants protection for players suffering from fatigue. He emphasizes that a footballer’s career is hampered by constant travel.’
FIFA is looking for ways to reduce its overcrowded schedule and has invited stakeholders to hold discussions on the topic, with member associations also set to debate the issue this month.
Former Cameroon star Geremi added that the calendar has been particularly tough on African players and said it was important to “find a solution” to ensure players do not put their health or careers at risk.
His former Real Madrid team-mate Geremi agreed that the schedule is harmful to players
“Most African players play for European clubs,” said the 42-year-old, who played with Carlos in Madrid.
“So if they participate in international competitions, they have to travel from Europe to Africa. I can tell you it is very tiring.
‘If you travel from Europe in the winter, it is 40 degrees in Africa. There is a contrast and that of course affects the performance, because you are not at 100 percent.
“It also has an impact on your sports career, because it reduces the number of years you can play on the national team.
“It is not at all easy for an African footballer – or an Asian, South American or American footballer – to play at club level in Europe and also for his country. So it is important that we find a solution to prevent players and their health from being endangered.’